This blog was inspired by my daughter. And more specifically, her clothes.
I posted about this on Instagram a while ago, and had a lot of fun with it. In case you missed it, here is a little recap of the initial incident:
“My daughter has a habit of always wearing (like most people) the same few clothes. This made my husband think that she doesn’t have enough clothes. So without my knowledge he ordered more clothes for her. Today, I received a box with a crazy amount of girl outfits. Most of it she already has plenty of. So I decided to spread out all her clothes, plus what came today, on the bed. Maybe if my husband sees it all on one place, he will realize that this is over the top. Man, that girl has three times the amount of what I have.” #menshopping #dad
As many of you may know from your own homes, this is pretty common for many people. We make the assumption that we don’t have enough of something because we can’t find it, or we don’t use / wear it enough to know that it’s there.
You may have heard of the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), which states that “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” This can be applied to just about anything. In this case, my daughter wears 20% of her clothes, 80% of the time.
If we were to keep all of the new clothing, plus the old stuff, that would lower the percentage that she wears further still. Repeat this tendency in other areas of the home and you will have a clutter problem! As a professional organizer, this was of course not going to be an option. I jumped right to it, and the results were pretty amazing. If you are a busy parent and don't have a lot of time, this is the quickest and most efficient way to get this done.
First, Gather All Like Items Together
To start, I first spread out all of the clothing on the bed. This is a great way to get a visual of what you actually own. In my daughter’s case, it was a lot! Collecting everything in one place before you begin sorting it and making decisions is a Marie Kondo tactic, and a good one. It lets you see how much you have and helps made decisions based on volume rather than simply guessing or basing your choice on emotion. Check other areas of the home to make sure you have it all.
Then, I Followed These Organizing Steps
Step 1. First, I placed all like items together. So, t-shirts in one pile, pants in another, socks in another, and so on.
Step 2. As I touched each item to sort it into it’s correct pile, I reviewed it for clothing that was too small, had holes in it or was too worn. For me, this was easier to do on my own, without my daughter. Please note that you can still donate torn or worn clothing to Goodwill! They have a great textile recycling program. Just place it into a bag labeled “recycling” and drop it off at any location. The only exception is anything that has chemicals or hazardous material on it.
Step 3. Enter husband, who realizes he may have pressed the “order now” button a little too soon. *insert smug face emoji*
Step 5. My daughter was invited into the room to review everything and show me what she likes and wears from each individual pile, and what was uncomfortable or out of style (in case you are wondering, My Little Pony is out, Moana is in).
Step 6. Everything to keep was then folded neatly in a manner approved and promoted by Marie Kondo, and which I like as well. It makes everything visible so that a child can see what they have and choose their clothes easily in the morning. It involves a little extra work when folding the laundry, which is not a burden when there is less of it!
Labeling kids clothes is a good idea for younger ones who don't know where things go. For kids who can't read, go for pictures of what belongs in each bin. If you pare down enough, labels become less necessary, since they can see what they have and know where to put things away by looking at the contents.
Step 7. Then I repeated the routine in my son’s room! The organizing bug is very contagious.
Step 8. Several hours later...realized that I accidentally spent the whole weekend doing for myself what I am paid to do for others, and it still felt pretty good.
To keep your kid's closet up to date, I recommend reviewing it every three months, just to do a survey of what they need (and don't need!), and what may need to be replaced. This is a great opportunity to re-fold properly and put things in order to keep up all of your work.
That’s it! I hope this post was helpful to you. Please comment below if there are other organizing solutions you’d like me to write about!